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Pierrot Mon Ami Paperback – January 1, 1994

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Paperback, January 1, 1994
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Pierrot is a Chaplinesque figure who works at a series of marginal jobs for an amusement park, and competes with his friend Paradis for the affections of the owner's daughter. "Originally published in France in 1942 and in England in 1950, this novel's pared down, often vulgar language is supplemented by highly inventive word plays and snippets of philosophy," said PW .
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"A brilliant, quirky novel by a French novelist whose reputation continues to grow in America." -- Kirkus 2-15-88

"A comic masterpiece." -- Irving Malin, Hollins Critic 8-88

"A jaunty little tale of unusual verbal dexterity. . . . [T]he inventive vernacular of his books . . . is of course in no way ordinary." -- The Guardian 4-29-88

"Loopily clever . . . inexhaustibly inventive, unremittingly disconcerting, overflowing with subversive energy, surrealistic wit, and rough-edged whimsy. . . . It is full of sentences which dizzy the reader with the hilarity of their close-packed variety of tone: low argot sabotages an elaborate metaphor in elevated language like Harpo Marx goosing Margaret Dumont." -- Cityweek 8-8-88

"Pierrot Mon Ami was perhaps Queneau's masterpiece. . . . This unlikely guru exerted a major influence on a new avant-garde (notably on Georges Perec, who was devoted to him). But if there was a sage in Queneau he never imparted his wisdom more touchingly than in Pierrot Mon Ami." -- Times Literary Supplement Aug 5-11 88

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 155 pages
  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press; 1st edition (January 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0916583406
  • ISBN-13: 978-0916583408
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,805,836 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
'Pierrot mon ami' was written around the same time as Celine's 'Guignol's Band', and, like that controversial classic, features a passive innocent on the margins of society, with carnies, circus acts, petty ex-criminals, mad artists - at one point, like Ferdinand, Pierrot becomes an assistant to a fake fakir.
'Pierrot' has slightly more reference to the Occupation than Queneau's other novels in the period - a fire razing a giant amusement arcade is said to have been started by one of the attractions, burning chairoplanes; an uproarious journey with a boar and a chimp is arguably a figure for anti-Semitism; a bottle of Vichy water is pronounced disgusting.
Another point of reference might be Sartre's famous short story 'The Wall'. Pierrot's imprisonment may be more metaphorical than actual - he is condemned to walk the same streets every day; on the one occasion he leaves, the rest of the book's cast go with him, while the strangers he meet used to work in the area - but it provokes the same Nietzchean laughter.
I point this out to show how much 'Pierrot' is of its time - Queneau is often dismissed for refusing to 'engage'. In any case, 'Pierrot' is a supremely anti-Nazi book, with its shifting perspectives, its formal games, its narrative and semantic gaps, its instability of character, refusing the reader the reassurance of fixity or authority.
But if 'Pierrot' is of its time, it's also ahead of it.
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Format: Paperback
Pierrot turns away from CHOICE to follow coincidence, chance meetings, crossed paths, to follow, dream-like, the destiny that will take him accross France with a tame monkey and a wild boar... A book dedicated to the peace of accepting the direction life sets us, instead of stiding, giant steps, to determine a false life for ourselves.
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Format: Paperback
This is my favorite book. Pierrot charms me more than any other character in literature, and his influence upon my growing life surpasses even that of Holden Caulfield. Pierrot is the inspiration for many of my own characters in my newly blossoming career in writing.
This book is charming, but not without tragedy and regret. It will surely touch any reader who remembers his or her own days of disillusioned youth. Anyone who remembers their days of financial dependence upon their parents or their days of becoming themselves financial independent will relate to Pierrot's loneliness and at the same time find a role model and a fantasy in his lackadaisical yet uplifting life. In this book you will find a new appriciation of life.
This is a book in which you will find a friend, a day-dream, and an inspiration.
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